Metro Manila mayors to release list of allowed outdoor places for kids

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, July 11) – Metro Manila mayors are set to release a list of allowed outdoor places for children in two to three days.

Metropolitan Manila Development Authority Chairman Benhur Abalos revealed the development on Sunday, two days after the Inter-Agency Task Force allowed children aged 5 and above to go outdoors in areas under general community quarantine and modified GCQ, as long as the areas are not under "heightened restrictions."

Abalos said the list aims to guide adults on specific outdoor areas for each of the 17 Metro Manila local government units where children could go.

The MMDA chairman said having a specific list of outdoor places will also prevent overcrowding, which may cause faster virus transmission.

"That is what we are trying to avoid, overcrowding. Otherwise, we may have a super-spreader event. We will look into the capacity of each area," Abalos told CNN Philippines.

Abalos also mentioned the Metro Manila Council will discuss the need for marshals in the outdoor areas and an accompanying adult for each child visiting these places.

"You're talking of 12-year-olds or 14-year-olds, baka sila-sila naglalakad (they may be roaming by themselves,)" the MMDA chairman said.

Marikina Mayor Marcy Teodoro confirmed they are crafting the list, but he emphasized that minimum public health and safety protocols should continue to be observed in outdoor spaces and that accompanying adults should be vaccinated as soon as possible.

Teodoro said the new IATF directive also balances the need to address the mental health of children.

"We, the Metro Manila mayors, are constantly talking for the uniform guidelines in observing minimum public health standards. We have very porous borders and our people are highly mobile," Teodoro told CNN Philippines' Newsroom Weekend.

The latest IATF resolution allows children to go to parks, playgrounds, outdoor tourist sites, outdoor non-contact sports courts, and al fresco dining with their parents or guardians. They are prohibited from entering malls even if they have outdoor spaces.

The children are also required to wear face masks at all times.

CNN Philippines correspondent Paolo Barcelon contributed to this report.